BB, CC, and DD Creams: What’s the Difference?
Tell the truth: Do you know the difference between BB, CC, and DD creams? While these skin care buys are among the biggest trends in beauty right now, many have no clue what sets the two apart—not to mention, what their acronyms stand for. If you fall into this camp, don’t be ashamed. With a growing list of alphabet products entering the beauty sphere, it’s easy to get confused by it all. But knowing the difference between them (and their respective benefits) can help you decipher which one is best to use on your skin. Let’s break it down, shall we? Ahead, we share the difference between BB, CC, and DD creams.
WHAT IS BB CREAM?
BB cream is short for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm.” They originally gained popularity in Korea (are you really that surprised?) and eventually landed in the U.S. market to incredible fanfare. The trendiness and buzz around BB creams when they were first introduced quickly earned them the reputation of an arsenal must-have. Aside from their ability to disguise blemishes and skin imperfections, the main selling point of BB cream is that most formulas offer a combination of SPF protection, anti-aging ingredients, and skin-soothing properties. Essentially, BB cream is the ultimate multi-tasking product; it can offer the benefits of a moisturizer, anti-aging cream, sunscreen, primer, and foundation all in one product.
The best candidates for BB cream are those who are looking for light coverage, UV protection, hydration, and anti-aging benefits in one uber-portable product. Also, the consistency of BB cream is often lighter than foundation but heavier than tinted moisturizer, if that’s what you’re after.
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BB CREAMS YOU SHOULD TRY
Looking for a new BB cream to add to your arsenal? We share two of our favorite BB creams—from the L’Oreal portfolio of brands—below.
L’OREAL PARIS MAGIC SKIN BEAUTIFIER BB CREAM
This BB cream—formulated with encapsulated pigments infused in an ultra-light lotion with antioxidant vitamin E—offers 4 beautifying actions in one product. The formula can prime skin to smooth its texture, offer a healthy-looking and even complexion, hydrate for all-day moisture, and help to hide imperfections. Choose from four shades.
L’Oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream, $10.95 MSRP
GARNIER 5-IN-1 SKIN PERFECTOR BB CREAM OIL-FREE
This oil-free formula—with mineral perlite, antioxidant wild berry, and tinted mineral pigments—is specifically designed for oily to combination skin to give five skin-perfecting benefits: controls shine, minimizes the appearance of pores, evens skin’s tone, hydrates and offers broad-spectrum SPF 20.
Garnier 5-in-1 Skin Perfector BB Cream Oil-Free, $12.99 MSRP
WHAT IS CC CREAM?
CC cream generally stands for “color correcting.” (We say generally because the jury is still out.) They’re often used to address issues such as skin discoloration, dullness, or sallowness, and most formulas contain light-diffusing particles and antioxidants. Like BB creams, CC creams also—more often than not—offer SPF protection.
The best candidates for CC cream are those with skin concerns related to discoloration and who are looking for a lighter coverage than a BB cream.
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CC CREAMS YOU SHOULD TRY
Looking for a new CC cream to add to your arsenal? We share two of our favorite CC creams—from the L’Oreal portfolio of brands—below.
L’OREAL PARIS VISIBLE LIFT CC CREAM
Meet: A CC cream that can help to correct visible dullness and even your skin’s tone and texture over time. With continued use, this formula—infused with vitamin C and calcium—can deliver five age-correcting actions, including brightening a dull complexion and reducing the appearance of age spots and dark spots.
L’Oreal Paris Visible Lift CC Cream, $12.95 MSRP
IT COSMETICS YOUR SKIN BUT BETTER CC+ CREAM WITH SPF 50+
This color-correcting cream camouflages skin imperfections in a pinch, as well as diffuses the look of wrinkles and large pores to provide a radiant, flawless-looking complexion. Best of all, the formula boasts broad-spectrum SPF 50+ to help protect skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays.
WHAT IS DD CREAM?
Combining the benefits of both BB and CC creams (like sun protection), DD creams—a.k.a. “daily defense” or “dynamic do-all” creams— primarily focus on anti-aging. Allegedly, DD creams may help target the appearance of wrinkles, as well as providing some coverage.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BB, CC, and DD CREAMS
When worn, you may not be able to tell the difference between BB, CC, and DD creams, but there is one, however subtle it may be. Aside from being marketed for separate issues, CC cream is typically a bit lighter in consistency when compared to BB and DD creams with an airier, smoother finish. Given that, CC cream may be a better choice for those with acne-prone skin to help conceal existing issues. DD creams, on the other hand, offer coverage with anti-aging benefits— something that both BB and CC creams neglect to have. The bottom line? BB, CC, and DD creams are like jazzed up tinted moisturizers but likely won’t mask your skin’s imperfections with as much coverage as a foundation.
BB Cream: While BB cream products are often formulated with broad-spectrum SPF, it’s important to supplement your BB cream (and CC cream) use with additional broad-spectrum sunscreen application throughout the day and to take other sun protection measures. Also, BB creams formulas typically don’t contain a high enough concentration of anti-aging ingredients, so don’t swap it out for your retinol products at night.
CC Cream: You could likely find the same level of color correction by using your regular liquid or cream foundation. That’s not to say that CC creams don’t deserve a spot in your arsenal, but rather that there are other options that may provide you with similar results. Other products, however, may not offer skin benefits like SPF protection and antioxidants.
DD Creams: Don’t rely on DD creams to provide you with the same full-coverage benefits a thick foundation would. If you’re aiming for a look that completely covers blemishes, we recommend wearing DD cream under your makeup.